Author Topic: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015  (Read 847 times)

Jesse Burneko

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Play Passionately
[Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« on: May 26, 2015, 06:53:21 PM »
So I had the chance to playtest Haunted both Saturday and Sunday at Gamex here in Los Angeles.  It went very well.

Good Thing #1) Both games were well attended.  In fact the first session was over flowing.  A friend of mine was nice enough to bow out to make room for others since he knew he could come over and play anytime he wants.

Good Thing #2) A guy who played in that first session CAME BACK to the second session to play again and brought a friend.

Good Thing #3) Two players at the end of the second game told me they liked Haunted better than Fiasco (the game's closest structural relative).  High praise indeed!

Good Thing #4) The second game was the first time the game wasn't a painful race to the grim-dark bottom.  It was a basically a sit-com full of Hollywood hijinx and bordering on being an odd couple buddy flick between the ghost and the murderer.  It was hilarious in a good way and was finally happy to see the game support a lighter tone of play.

The key difference in that session was that I finally had a ghost player who took caring for the people in his half of the social circle diagram seriously rather than solely focusing on destroying the murderer's life.  The ghost was a film producer who was ruining the murderer's movie.  The ghost was also having an affair.  The supporting players all decided that both the ghost's wife and his mistress wanted in on the movie to help "honor Sal's memory."  The ghost really didn't want them to meet because he wanted his wife to remember him fondly.

So the ghost was doing a two step between trying to manipulate things to further ruin the movie production from beyond the grave while at the same time trying to manipulate the murderer into salvaging the memory of his marriage.

It was fucking hysterical and awesome.

Jesse

Callan S.

  • Member
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
Re: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 10:54:50 PM »
Quote
The key difference in that session was that I finally had a ghost player who took caring for the people in his half of the social circle diagram seriously rather than solely focusing on destroying the murderer's life.
Interesting take away! Almost makes me think of a sort of humanity of the ghost - whether they are someone who has cares and thus unfinished business, or whether they are the wraith of a horror movie. Perhaps your game shifts between the two genres, depending on who plays?

What if the murderer could somehow pick up on the past life of the ghost - to not so much attack the ghost, but remind it of its humanity instead of becoming an obsessed spectral terminator? To raise the question to the ghost 'what have you become?'. Then again it'd be a murderer asking this, so what had the murderer already become? Just throwing around thoughts, hope it doesn't clutter the thread.

Ron Edwards

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1417
  • The cold never bothered me anyway
    • View Profile
    • Adept Press
Re: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 03:38:09 PM »
Was this with a rules shift or with the same rules with the "exhaustion" phenomenon?

Jesse Burneko

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Play Passionately
Re: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 04:33:45 PM »
It was with the rule shift.

Jesse

Ron Edwards

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1417
  • The cold never bothered me anyway
    • View Profile
    • Adept Press
Re: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 05:48:34 PM »
Tentative conclusion?

1. The "ghost starts to care" is now possible and accessible.

2. Even if it doesn't, the process is still fun and not predictable.

Which is great! Granted, just based on two little sessions, but some of the incidental information like the player returning, and the relatively non-biased and possibly non-optimal context of con play, support the positive takeaway.

Good news, Jesse!

Jesse Burneko

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • Play Passionately
Re: [Haunted] Playtesting At Gamex 2015
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2015, 02:57:01 PM »
Right now I'm kind of letting the game marinate in my head.  I feel like it's sitting in this weird spot of either it's mostly done or it's further from being done than it ever has been and I'm not sure which.

The rule I'm squinting really hard at is the one where if the murderer manages to resolve a bit of the situation then a point of Influence transfers from the Ghost to the Murderer.

That happened once in that second game.  The murderer managed to finally managed to get the actress he really wanted in the lead role.  It was an obvious... uh... sub-climax... for lack of a better term.  Everyone easily agreed that this moment "counted" for that rule.  So it works.

But it's so.... intrusive?  Maybe.  I can't tell if my concerns are non-sense or if there's really something amiss there.  If there is something amiss there, I don't know what to replace it with.

Jesse